On NPR, the CBC and the BBC

by Bill Corden 

(This follows on from Lev Tsitrin’s piece the other day.)

When I arrived in Canada in 1974, I was culturally lost for quite a while. I found that the commercial radio stations were the equivalent of UK tabloids, full of trash and 30 second analyses of the issues of the day (sound familiar, Twitter?)

It took me a while, but then I found CBC radio, which in its day was as good as the BBC was in its own day.

Its comedy shows on the weekends had some the of wittiest scripts and I actually looked forward to a Saturday morning when I could sit back and listen to them. During the week they interviewed scientists, they interviewed great writers, their news programs showed great empathy and solicitude and it was a genuine alternative to the TV.

But the CBC caught the virus and before too long it was preferable to listen to the trash with commercials than to listen to the endless lesbian/gay/refugee traumas that gradually made up most of the programming.

The days of the fabulous Peter Gzowski gave way to a parade of hip, POC hosts who fixated on the issues of minorities to the exclusion of any subjects of interest or excellence.

I finally gave up when they introduced, as host to their nationwide morning show, a rap artist who sounded like he was reading someone’s eulogy. He was preceded by an unctuous POC who was dismissed because of scandalous sexual allegations, allegations which he subsequently beat the rap for.

In desperation I tuned into NPR in the U.S. of A. Surely a non-profit organization, unrestrained by government funding, unrestrained by a cabinet secretary, unrestrained by anything, especially with free speech enshrined in the constitution. Surely this would be the place to satisfy my longing?

Er…. no, no, no.

I didn’t think, even after the CBC got dumbed down, that there could be anything worse, but NPR put paid to that line of thinking.

Every lefty that ever lived has been given a forum by NPR and it seems that the organization goes out of its way to give airtime to the most stupid and the most reactionary.

I have to say that there’s not been ONE program that I’ve been able to listen to until the end and I say this as someone who was a lifelong socialist until he saw the crippling incompetence and intransigence of the ideologues.

So now we have the CBC, the BBC and NPR, all in theory publicly owned, as THE most censorious and intolerant media outlets on the airwaves.

The CBC is funded by the Canadian Government. The BBC by compulsory license fees and, well, NPR by an unlimited supply of donors who want to put the world right by making it more difficult to live in.


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